Things to know when hiring a calligrapher

There’s a ton of tips I can share but for purposes of this specific post, and to help make it digestible and not overwhelming, the tips I share today will speak a bit more to those looking for a calligrapher for an event, however, you’ll see that a lot will also apply to personal projects as well. So, with all that said…let’s do this!

You have a big event coming up and you know that you want to work with a calligrapher. AWESOME! Excellent choice! So, now what do you do? Where do you even begin? How do you find these magical unicorns? Well, I’m so happy you asked! If you found this blog post, then you are headed in the right direction! Not only am I a calligrapher myself, I’m also going to share some basic, yet valuable tips that will help you find your perfect match and give you some insight on what goes into working on a calligraphy project and why it usually cost what it does.

Where do you begin?

If you’re on social media then you know, you can pretty much find anything on apps like Instagram, TikTok or even Facebook. Although to be honest, Facebook isn’t my personal favorite. Searching hashtags for your specific needs like #eventcalligrapher or #miamicalligrapher for example are great keywords to check out. Think about what it is you need and the location you’re in. Once you find a few that you love, you more than likely can access their websites from their bios, and you’ll be able to see exactly what services they offer. I do suggest, however, that if you LOVE a calligrapher’s style, but aren’t sure they do the kind of project you want, email them and don’t DM them unless they state somewhere on their social media to DM them. Lots of times I get DMs from strangers, and I don’t see them until a week or even a month later because their message gets put into the “other” folder or “hidden” messages folder and I don’t check those folders on a regular basis. So that’s something to keep in mind when contacting a calligrapher. See if they have a preferred method of communication, but if they don’t, email them using their website contact form.

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Not all calligraphers do the same exact thing:

It’s more common than not, that some calligraphers will specialize in certain styles of calligraphy over another or will only work with certain mediums more than another. For example, one artist might only like to work with brush pens, while another prefers pointed pen calligraphy. Both are beautiful, but the style is different so it’s something to keep in mind when looking for a calligrapher. Also, not every calligrapher works on every medium. Some might specialize in signage while others prefer paper goods or smaller scale projects. When you find a calligrapher you are interested in, check out their social media or website to see what service they offer. If it isn’t clear, email them!

Here’s a sample of art created using a brush pen for the word “Catnip”
Here’s an example of a piece created using a pointed pen.

The quote is in the detail:

When you finally narrow down your top choices for a calligrapher and are ready to reach out for a quote, try and have some basic details ready to provide in that email you’re about to send. Information such as your event date is a must, along with a list of what you want to be created if it’s more than one thing. Are you needing envelopes only, or table numbers as well? Does your event have a color theme you want to incorporate? Another question I always like to ask potential clients is when they need their project back in their hands by. This allows the calligrapher to see if they are available for your event and can meet your deadline for deliverables. Your event might be on July 1st, for example, but you will be traveling away so you’ll need your order two weeks earlier before you leave. This is great to provide upfront of course, but rest assured, if you don’t provide the details upfront, your calligrapher will send you a list of questions or a form to fill out before even sending you a quote. And if you calligrapher says yes before asking any questions at all…RUN! A proper quote and good communication are all in the details!

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If you wait until the last minute, it will cost you!

My biggest suggestion when hiring a calligrapher is DO NOT WAIT FOR THE LAST MINUTE! Calligraphy is not a fast art. There is prep work involved and when working on something like envelopes or place cards, a calligrapher cannot possibly complete 100 or more cards overnight, this can also be said for personal projects that require a lot of writing. While most calligraphers have their own rules for what might incur a rush fee, and every artist’s rush fee may vary, it’s important to understand that if your event is on Friday and you’re contacting a calligrapher on Monday to create 100 favors or a large sign for your event, you can pretty much expect to be charged a rush fee.

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I hope these tips helped you feel more prepared for communicating with a calligrapher for your next event or project. If there is something I didn’t touch on here please make sure to comment your questions below and I’ll try to answer you or I’ll write a post addressing it!

Xo,

jess

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